|The early starts are worth it|
For me, the Scottish winter season will come to an end very quickly. I am due to be in the Alps from mid December until April. So my intention is to cram a seasons worth of climbing into one month! Is it possible? Doubtful! However, if last year is anything to go by, I only have to do 6 more routes then I will beat that tally!
|Nice morning for a long walk|
So, two routes have got me underway. Last year on the 25th November, Chadders and I climbed on Carn Etchican. This year, on the same date we did exactly the same. We only realised when we were home as it popped up on Mark's Facebook feed. The photo's are not identical but very similar. Check them out in the link above. We had a few route's in mind, one objective was black so we needed to stick to something that was holding the snow, a groove or gully line. So we ended up on Pagans Slit (V,6) which gave some brilliant, balancy, turfy climbing. Everything was frozen and we weren't wading through too much snow. It's was bitterly cold though...I just wonder if I haven't adjusted to it yet after my sport climbing trip or if I am just being a bit soft!?
|Chadders enjoying the snowy chimney on the 1st of 2 main pitches|
It was a tough day in terms of braking trail, wandering through boulder fields with some snow, falling down holes and getting battered by the wind. Im glad the following day was due to be a short one.
|Best part of the day, Murdoch with his foot stuck. Had to remove his boot to get free. I did help after I took some photos|
So day two with Murdoch was just spot on. Originally we had talked about some desperate test pieces in the 'Lochain' but fortunately the weather was minging so it had to be a quickie. No long belay shifts and back for 12.30. It's great going winter climbing and having an afternoon to do 'normal' things. We went in and climbed 'Pot of Gold' (V,6) as we thought it would go quickly. After the initial faff we grovelled our way up as the wind picked up and we both started moaning about how cold it was. It was fun climbing, I had done it before but it was much better conditions this time. We topped out and swiftly got back to the van for a whole afternoon....of....
(Should have stayed out longer)
|Murdoch on the short traverse on pitch 2|